Why You Don’t Need to Be in a Sorority

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Full Disclaimer: I am from the North. I want to start off this piece by acknowledging that I didn’t grow up in the South, so I clearly have a different perspective from people who grew up hearing the words “bid day”, “chapter”, and “rush” from a young age. When I came to Auburn I had no clue what the heck ice water teas were, or what subjects were go-to for philanthropy day. Joining a sorority was practically nonexistent on my priority list next to "pull shards of glass out of my eye." All I knew about sororities was what is portrayed in the media: blonde, tan, overly enthusiastic girls ecstatic and over the top about taking posed pictures and “sisterhood”. Y’all I’m going to be honest, I grew up with a twin and a little sister and that’s about all the sisterhood I could handle. But, after talking to some people who had experience at southern schools, I quickly was made to understand the importance of being in a sorority. “How will you make friends?” “What will be your group?” Were all questions posed to me by concerned yet misguided peers and family friends. I slowly started to realize it was either Greek or geek.

When I went through rush, I actually enjoyed it (shocking, right?). I’m naturally a very extroverted person and love meeting new people so the chaos and excitement was enjoyable for me. It also didn’t hurt that the sorority girls’ only job was to make me feel like everything I said was interesting. I was amazed by my good luck when house after house I was paired with other girls who were out of state, or had twins! “What are the odds?!” I thought. Oh to be young and naïve. When I finally joined a sorority, I was fully in the mindset that this was “totally the best thing, like, ever”. For most of my freshman year, I was happy with my decision to rush, enthralled with meeting all of the members, and stocking up on shirts, hats and stickers with our letters. Although swaps and socials were less than my favorite activities, the good outweighed the bad in my head.

As I went into my sophomore year, the idea of going through rush as part of a sorority instead of as a potential new member (PNM) loomed over my head. I try to live my life with as little judgment as possible, and although I fail all the time, I started to ask myself if I was willing to subscribe to something that would encourage me to judge. I started to feel really uncomfortable with the entire process and it was making me question my decision more than ever. Without going into too many details, at the end of the day I felt like the sorority was going in a direction I was less than comfortable with, and no longer agreed with my core values. After discussing it with many friends and family members, I decided it was time to drop. Once again I was faced with the question: what would my life in college be without a sorority? When my two best friends in my sorority had also come to the same conclusion, I knew it was time to act.

When I finally dropped, I thought I would feel some sort of regret or questioning, but instead I felt only relief. Setting yourself free and facing the unknown, although nerve-racking, is equally exhilarating. The world was now mine to explore, whatever activities I wanted to pursue were now completely at my fingertips. Since dropping, I have volunteered at The Big House foster care center, the East Alabama Rape Crisis Center, started a Vlog channel with my best friend, and now write for Her Campus Auburn.

My time in a sorority gave me a lot of things. I tried something completely new, I learned how to find my place in a large group environment, how to let loose and have fun, and when to say no to something you’re not comfortable with. Not to mention, I now live with my best friend who I met in the sorority, and I will be a bridesmaid in my big’s wedding next summer. Although it ended up not being the best fit, I ended up taking a lot of positives from that experience. That being said, I have continued to grow in ways I could never have expected since dropping. What I hope to communicate is that life on campus without Greek life is not impossible or less than in anyway. If you are not in a sorority or fraternity, or if you are in one and you are unsatisfied, please do not let the fear of the unknown stop you from doing what you want. Everyone has individual needs, wants, hobbies, and preferences. If yours are met through Greek life, that is wonderful, but it is just as wonderful to meet them in other ways. College, and life in general, is too short to let what’s “popular” come before what makes you happy.